Australian Author of Children’s Books and Teen Books: July 2013

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Story Lab


Story Lab at the State Library of Queensland is a chance for young creatives to experiment, flesh out their ideas and add to their storytelling toolkit. There are animation, music and filmmaking workshops and, this year, I ran the writing workshops. Kids and teens were asked to create their own fictional band - back-story on band-members, band history, image, an album cover shoot, creating an album with songs from Soundcloud. It was a huge creative rush inspired by SLQ's Live! exhibition. Here are some pics...

Exploring SLQ Live! exhibition
Album cover shoot.

Creating an album using my Story Scrapbook app.



Developing the band's image.
I want to see this band live at Wembley Stadium.
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Legends in Their Own Lunchbox

Author copies just arrived for an Education fiction series I have contributed to. My books are illustrated by the immensely talented Dean Gorrissen (Deadly series and I Got a Rocket). I love what he's done with the character of Noob, a kid who is pretty certain he's a superhero in spite of the evidence stacked against him. (Little bit autobiographical. ;-) )
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Monday, July 8, 2013

Room to Read Australia


Kids are a powerful force in changing the world for the better. This year I'm working with Room to Read and children across Australia to raise $25,000 to publish a local-language book for children in Tanzania, Africa.

Help us by performing one of these simple, fun fundraising actions this Children's Book Week...

1. Embarrass your teacher! Eight teachers as well as the Principal at Channahon Junior High School in the US agreed to dress up in embarrassing costumes if US$1,000 could be raised through their fundraising efforts for Room to Read. Through this event, a raffle, and other activities, they raised US$3,900!

2. Drop Everything and Read
Get sponsored to drop everything and read for an entire hour. We did it in the video for last year's World Change Challenge:


3. Hold an Auction
Twelve high school students from Lakeside School in Seattle held an auction. They volunteered to be part of a campaign called Literacy One and had record-breaking results--they raised $650,000! Joanna Schott, one of the students said, 'It's sort of surprising. People were really energised by a group of young kids getting involved in a worthwhile cause.'

4. Live-in for Literacy
In Universities in Canada, students camped out for a week in the library. They slept, ate, brushed their teeth etc. in the library and got people to sponsor them.

5. Sponsored Silence This idea featured in John Wood’s book, Leaving Microsoft to Change the World, where parents pay $10 to buy an hour of silence from their children. Any parent knows that this represents extraordinary value.


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Friday, July 5, 2013

Angry Grandpa Poem

To celebrate the launch of Kids Stinkmy first-ever eBook short story, I am holding a World's Crankiest Grandpa competition. The entries are rolling in and June's winner is 11-year-old Charlotte Lowe. She submitted a poem inspired by Cliff Weekly, Tom Weekly's cranky grandpa (illustrated above by Gus Gordon). Enjoy the poem! 


The Angry Grandpa

The angry grandpa sat in his chair

And ripped out large chunks of his hair

He threw a brick with a manic laugh

It hit an elderly grandma’s calf

'Kids weren’t like this in my day!'

He shouted on the twelfth of May

'I’m sorry, Pop,' Tom said with a quiver

'SHUT UP OR I’LL TAKE OUT YOUR LIVER!'

There was no limit to his rage

So they locked him in a cage

“Ha, ha, ha!” Tom said with a laugh

“You shouldn’t have hit that grandma’s calf!”


Charlotte has won a copy of my book, My Life & Other Stuff I Made Up featuring Tom Weekly from Kids Stink. There's copy up for grabs in July, August and September. To enter and WIN, draw a Cranky Grandpa or maybe ask your Gramps to pull a cranky face, photograph it and send it in (or write a poem / letter to your gramps). 

You can email your entries hereHere is a Pinterest board of Cranky Grandpas I have put together to inspire you.
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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Book Week 2013


The 2013 Children's Book Week theme is Read Across the Universe and I'm running a competition for the best display or event based on my book Galactic Adventures: First Kids in Space. The winning school gets a free one-hour Skype author talk or Google Hangout.

The first entry is in and it will be tough to beat. It's from Tyndale Christian School in Salisbury, South Australia. Thanks to all the kids and librarian Julie Cockburn for getting involved. I can't wait to see the other entries. All the competition details are here.


And don't forget the 2013 Room to Read World Change Challenge where, with a simple action, you can help us publish a book for kids in Tanzania, one of the world's poorest countries.
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